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Surprising Science

How to Watch Tomorrow’s Solar Eclipse

Most Europeans will be afforded at least a partial view of the eclipse. For everyone else, digital technology has got you covered.

A total solar eclipse will occur tomorrow though you’re probably not going to be able to see it in all its glory by simply looking up into the sky. The eclipse will occur while many Americans lay snugly asleep, taking place over a four-hour span starting at 7:41 GMT (3:41 a.m. ET). Residents of the southern hemisphere are also out of luck as partial phases of the astronomical event will likely only be viewable in stretches of northern Europe and Asia (with a possibility of visibility from North Africa). According to NBC News‘ Alan Boyle, the best views are afforded to those who have traveled to some of Earth’s most remote northern places:

“The eclipse is perfectly placed if you’re north of Scotland in the Faroe Islands, or north of Scandinavia in Norway’s Svalbard Archipelago. Those are the most significant bits of land that lie in the path of totality, and hardcore eclipse-chasers booked their accommodations months ago.”

But just because you didn’t have the time to sail all the way out to Bjørnøya doesn’t mean you can’t at least experience the eclipse in digital form. For groggy Americans and folks in other non-viewing areas, you can watch the eclipse online via our friends at the Slooh virtual observatory:

“The Slooh virtual observatory has set up a streaming-video operation in the Faroe Islands to take in the scene, for a webcast due to begin at 4:30 a.m. ET. There’ll be commentary from solar researchers and Slooh correspondents. The stream will be available via, and Twitter users can ask questions in real time using the hashtag #SloohEclipse.”

As for those who traveled to Iceland or are able to see at least part of the eclipse in the sky from where you live, remember that it’s not altogether a great idea to stare directly into the sun — that is, unless retinal damage is your idea of a good time:

“Gazing at the sun can do permanent eye damage, so it’s important to take precautions — either by looking through solar filters (even at rip-off prices) or using a pinhole projector. This guide from NASA lays out the options.”

Take a look at the full piece from NBC linked below for more facts and tips for getting the fullest eclipse experience.

Read more at NBC News.

Photo credit: THEJAB / Shutterstock


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